United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Processing of Transportation Enforcement Cases Based on Third Party Data Collected by Agreement State Agencies

HPPOS-058 PDR-9111210237

See the memorandum from H. D. Thornburg to B. H. Grier (and others) dated December 5, 1980, and the two enclosed memoranda from S. Sohinki to J. H. Sniezek dated November 13, 1980, and J. H. Sniezek to J. Lieberman dated November 3, 1980. It is appropriate to process enforcement actions against NRC licensees on the basis of data obtained by a State.

On October 17, 1980, NRC representatives met with officials of the South Carolina Bureau of Radiological Health to discuss matters of mutual interest regarding inspection of incoming waste shipments to a waste disposal site. Among the items discussed was the question of whether or not NRC was planning to use data and evidence collected by the State inspectors to process enforcement actions on violations by NRC licensee / shippers in those cases when an NRC inspector was not physically present at the site when the shipment was inspected. This question had arisen on a number of occasions and its answer became all the more important since NRC coverage at the site was about 3 to 5 days per month.

It is an OELD opinion that should any transportation enforcement action result in a hearing, the results of inspections performed by state inspectors which form the bases for NRC action would be admissible provided the state inspectors are available to testify. OELD has spoken to the Assistant Attorney General for the Division of Health and Environmental Control, and informed that the state inspectors were anxious to cooperate in any way they can in the event of a hearing. In order to effectively foster that cooperation, however, two items were discussed that are believed to be helpful.

First, both NRC headquarters and the Region II staff must recognize that, to the extent of reliance upon state inspectors in South Carolina, the state should be kept informed with regard to every step of NRC proposed enforcement actions. This includes providing the Division of Health and Environmental Control with drafts of all proposed enforcement documents so that they are aware of the action and can assure our enforcement document does not mischaracterize any actions taken by state inspectors.

Second, from time to time NRC issues Bulletins that interpret IE enforcement criteria or standards. To the extent that any of these Bulletins or other interpretive documents relate to activities conducted by state inspectors, the Division of Health and Environmental Control should receive copies.

The discussions with South Carolina were somewhat further advanced than with other states. Accordingly, Region II was asked to finalize any necessary details with South Carolina and proceed to process a "test case" when the appropriate opportunity presents itself. Region V was asked to explore the idea with state licensing authorities in Nevada and Washington, with the view of obtaining their agreement to cooperate on such cases. If they appeared agreeable, all that would remain would be to coordinate the protocols and proceed on some test cases.

Regulatory references: 10 CFR 2, 10 CFR 71

Subject codes: 12.7, 12.17

Applicability: All

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, June 08, 2015